So you’re doing it! You’re taking that first big step and flying with an infant! Congratulations!!! You’ve done the hardest part already which is committing to this adventure and buying that ticket. Luckily for you…..I’ve done a fair amount of travel with my kids since they were infants, both domestically and internationally, and was in the same place you are now: researching ; ) So here are my top 5 suggestions to make traveling with your infant just a little easier.
I’m pretty sure most parents can agree that a blowout at 39,000 ft is less than ideal and to be avoided by all means necessary. While unfortunately, the majority of this depends on your mini you….there is something you can do to lessen the impact if you do find yourself in this situation 🙂
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Step 1 / Size it up and go with overnight diapers
Overnight diapers tend to hold more than a regular daytime diaper which will allow you to go a little more time between diaper changes. It is much easier to change a baby in the airport than in the airplane lavatory. That in combination with using one size bigger than what your little one is currently using, will hopefully help you to avoid a major blowout because of the bigger size and going up higher on baby’s back. Sizing up will possibly even allow you to make it through a flight without a diaper change 🙂
So get that final change done right before you board, use an overnight diaper one size larger than what your little one is using, and fingers crossed, you won’t find yourself trying to squeeze into an airplane bathroom and trying to maneuver a through a mid-flight diaper change.
Step 2 / Keep your hands free and use a baby carrier
Having your hands free is invaluable when you start thinking of all the extra baby stuff that you will be trying to bring, checking in, security, boarding and de-planing, showing boarding passes….the list goes on and on. Flying involves a lot of patience and dealing with uncontrollable circumstances. Most babies will tend to be much calmer when held close to you which helps when you are trying to maneuver through travel. Also, something as simple as being able to have your hands free to hold a drink mid-flight, or eat a snack without having to juggle baby in one arm while using the other, makes this a no-brainer in my head. If you are looking to improve your chances of making it off the plane with clean clothes….then you want to use a baby carrier 🙂
I do always still bring the car seat. However its big, bulky and easiest to just check to your final destination. Plus, did you know that most airlines will allow you to check baby items for free and they don’t count against your luggage allowance? So grab one of these car seat bags, stick your car seat in there, and take advantage of the extra space around the car seat and pack it with items you’ll want traveling. Its a free bag after all, might as well take advantage of it 🙂
Step 3 / It’s all about the layers
I’m with you in that I love all the adorable baby outfits. The little headbands, shoes, matching socks and sweet outfits. However….if you are looking to simplify flying with baby, and have it go as smoothly as possible, put those cute items in a ziplock bag, and save them for the end of your final flight to change baby before you deplane:)
The key is in layers. I’m all about cute but also think practicality. Think if it will be easy to change in the most awkward position possible, in a small space if the baby spits up or blows through the diaper? If not…save it for when you arrive 🙂 I always start with a simple onesie as a base layer. If your baby is pushing the point of almost outgrowing a size, now is not the time to try and squeeze them into that favorite onesie one last time. Trust me. If they have a blowout, you want
TIP: On that note…..did you know that you can pull the
On top of the onesie, I always go with a pair of comfy leggings and a zip sweatshirt. Again think simple. Worst case
Finally, skip the socks and go with some sort of soft comfy booty. I love these. They are soft, easy to get on and off and come in a variety of cute patterns. If you are anything like me….socks disappear. In the wash,
Step 4 / Ditch the bulky diaper bag and go with a diaper clutch
The things we learn from trial and error. With my first two girls, I always flew with a diaper bag. What a joke. Honestly. Every time I had to change them whether up in the air or in the airport….I always ended up digging through the diaper bag for what I needed to take with me to change them. Those airplane bathrooms have zero, no I take that back, less than zero room to change a baby. Can you really envision yourself trying to change a baby and while reaching into a diaper bag for what you need in the tiny bathroom? Let alone figuring out where you put the diaper bag while you are changing. Yeah, no. Save yourself the headache and get a diaper clutch.
Every time you need it, you can quickly and easily grab it. Everything you need will be in one place and ready to go. I love this one that folds out to be a changing pad, has a pocket for diapers, and a separate pocket for wipes which had enough room that I was able to store an extra set of clothes. It also is made of a material that is easy to wipe clean.
Forget trying to wash your hands with a baby in hand after changing. Simplify, and attach a small bottle of hand sanitizer to the outside of your clutch. Then after you’ve handed off baby, or contained in a carrier, you can always go back to wash more thoroughly.
Now, I get how much stuff comes with leaving the house with a baby, let alone travel. You will want to bring everything, including the kitchen sink….just in case right 😉 That is just fine. I’m of the mindset better safe than sorry. Still, don’t bring the diaper bag. To keep all the baby items you’ll need, pack a duffel bag.
This will be big enough to store the clutch as well as any of your carry-on items. Just trust me on this one. But if you need more details on why…..check out this post from when I traveled 24 hrs + alone with 3 kids. I promise you…its worth it! I realized fairly quickly that it was easier to have a big duffel with all our most used items so I was only searching one bag for what the kids or I wanted.
Step 5 / Bring the comfort item
With any sort of travel, we are always trying to consolidate, and I get that. But when it comes to baby…forget that rule. Honestly. A comfy and happy baby = happy parents and happy fellow travelers. Whatever that comfort item is, find a way to bring it. (Well, unless it’s one of those enormous Costco bears….then I suggest transitioning baby to a smaller comfort item before your trip 🙂
Traveling throws babies into an entirely new environment that they don’t understand. If you have an item that they always get at nap time, or use to sleep at home….bring it. Try and make the routines while traveling as normal for them as possible. It will work wonders when trying to help them relax or sleep in an environment that is completely new and overwhelming.
My daughter has this amazing, but somewhat bulky blanket that my friend knit for her when she was first born….she LOVES it. It has a larger knit pattern that allows for her to curl her fingers through and hold onto. For whatever reason, I can try everything under the sun to help her relax, and calm down or sleep, and nothing ever works. I can try for 10x longer, in a small confined space with a fussy baby while fellow passengers stare….or I can make the bulky blanket fit, and be able to pull it out at a seconds notice and help her calm down in minutes. I’ll choose the latter, every time 🙂
While it may seem daunting, and I’m sure you’ve done all your Pinterest research…..don’t overthink it too much. Think about what makes your baby happiest and calmest at home. These items will be crucial while traveling. So take these tips, take a deep breath, and relax. Yes, I know easier said than done. But at the end of the day, the more relaxed you are, the more they will be as well. Plus, worst case scenario, they fuss or cry the whole flight……you won’t ever see these people again. Chances are that at some point, everyone on that plane was in the same boat you were. Whether as a fussy baby themselves for their
Mama, Dada…..You’ve got this. Remember, flying is an exciting adventure. Kudoos to you for including your little one at such an early age. Take the steps to be prepared, but most of all, think of it as an adventure. Go into it with the mindset knowing that something may happen, and thats ok. Its a short lived situation, and after its all said and done….it will be a great story to share 🙂
Happy travels! Be sure to comment with your tips you’ve learned from flying with your babies!